Author Archives: Kyle Burton

About Kyle Burton

Kyle has been covering the online lending and consumer finance markets since 2006, his focus is to uncover topics that help borrowers get out of debt and save money daily. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIN and Google+

Texas Lenders In Spotlight With Regulations Quickly Changing For Loan Products

As any resident of Texas knows, Texas is loaded with lenders, many of whom offer personal loans. You can barely drive but a few minutes before seeing some sort of lender. Texas has more lenders than any other state. Yet that does not mean you are getting the best possible deal. Have you noticed that many of these lenders charge an effective APR of 400 percent or higher? In fact many of these lenders are nothing more than glorified payday loan lenders. If you are looking for a legitimate personal loan, with decent rates and flexible terms, you may have been finding your in true options rather limited in Texas. Which is why I recommend any Texan to take it to the next level and expand their options to include online lenders. Sure these lenders might not be based in Texas, but many of them will offer a better rate than you could hope to find locally.

If you have never dealt with an online lender and have some worries, never fear. We are going to provide a list of online lenders who have a solid reputation in regards to making personal loans to Texans. You deserve the best possible rate. Applying for these loans is rather easy, even more so since you can do so comfortably from your own home. Applying is also fairly fast, and with response times tending to be within 24 to 48 hours, with some lenders even beating the 24 hour mark. All you need to apply for one of these loans is to have some type of verifiable income and a social security number. Also many of the lenders on my list, outside of having a rock solid reputation and outstanding customer server, also allow you to check on what rate you qualify for, without ever affecting your FICO score. I highly recommend checking what rate offer you can receive from these lenders, since merely checking your rate carries no obligation and no risk. Here is our list of the top online lenders serving residents of Texas.

Texas Direct
Texas Direct has been in business for a long time, and is a part of a network that sometimes offers loans through Citigroup Inc. Not only do they take loan applications online, you can also visit a local branch in person. One key benefit of this lender is that you can choose what date of the month your payment is due, which makes it easier to balance your checkbook and finances. They also do not charge prepayment penalties, which comes in handy for those who like to wipe our debt as quickly as possible. While they offer unsecured personal loans, they also offer you the option to use you car as collateral, which has the benefit of lowering your interest rate. Loan amounts can be as low as $300 or as high as $15,000. For those who need small amounts this is a solid lender, but those needing $20,000 plus will need to look elsewhere. Learn more at http://www.texasdirectlenders.com/


Vouch

If your credit score is low, and you feel you have no other options than using one of the many payday lenders doting the landscape of your city think again. Vouch will offer you a loan with a credit score as low as 600, but there is a catch22 involved. This lender requires you to obtain what they call “Vouches” from either your friends or family. A Vouch will mean they take partial responsibility for your loan, but not full responsibility. It is much like cosigning a loan, with a few key differences. For one they are not on the hook for the whole loan. Secondly for any loan of $2000 or higher, every single vouch you obtain grants you a 1% interest discount. With enough vouches you can obtain an interest rate as low as 7.35%. Of course this rate assumes that you can get enough people who know you to vouch for you. This lender takes lending principles back to the day when loans were based on character, and by the judgement and trust of your peers. To learn more simply visit https://vouch.com/home

Prosper
If you take out loans often, as many Texans do, this might be just the right lender for you. Besides being able to check your interest rate without affecting your credit score, this lender often gives repeat borrowers a interest rate cut on subsequent loans. For those with excellent credit who meet certain standards set forth by prosper, you qualify for an AA rating and an interest rate as low as 5.99 percent. Loan amounts range from $2000 to $35,000. To learn more visit https://www.prosper.com

Six Financial Mistakes That are Illegal and Could Become Problematic

Most people would never consider that they might be a candidate, and no I am not talking about a candidate for the president of the United States, but rather a candidate for arrest due to committing a financial crime. Now when most of you think about financial crimes, you think about the big and well known ones such as loan fraud, check forging, ponzi schemes and counterfeiting to name a few. Yet you would be surprised at just how easy it is to fall into the felony category of financial crimes! There are 6 financial crimes that people do, every single day in fact. You might comfort yourself with saying things like “it’s no big deal” or “everyone’s doing it”, but it does not change the fact that the 6 financial habits below are highly illegal, and one day you may end up paying a hefty price for committing them.

Signing someone else’s name on a check
Signing anyone’s name on a check, other than your own is considered in most states to be forgery, and a felony at that. The only time you can sign another persons name on a check is when you have a power of attorney in effect. While most times this is done on behalf of a loved one for benign purposes, it is still illegal.

Using someone else’s social security number to get credit
This one would seem a rather obvious one. Yet there are many parents out there whose own credit is ruined who do just that, using their children’s social security numbers to game the system and obtain credit. This is identity theft and it is highly illegal.

Lying on a loan application
Anyone who is applying for a loan would be better off keeping it honest when it comes to their loan applications. Lying to inflate your income, debts or other factors in an attempt to get their loan approved are committing a crime, fraud. Lenders have ways and means to check your information, so you should be honest. If you do get approved after lying on a loan application, but then default, you can be charged with felony fraud after the fact.

Writing bad checks
Knowingly writing a check that you know will bounce is very much a crime. This can happen on accident, but that is why there is overdraft protection available. If you knowingly write bad checks, not only could you face criminal charges, you may also be banned from ever opening up a checking account again, or face extreme difficulty doing so.

Defacing U.S. currency
Many people are guilty of this crime. it is illegal to write on currency, deface it in any way, cut it, glue it, perforate it, or otherwise render U.S currency unusable. Accidental defacement does not count as being illegal, but rather deliberate defacement does. If your paper bills are torn, rather than glue them or tape them together, the law requires you submit them to the U.S treasury and they will mail you a new bill.

Tips For Students Once Your Finance and Loan Grace Period Expires

Everyone with a student loan loves the grace period. You do not have to worry about anything during that time and your finances usually are doing great during this time. The grace period is like an extended spring break when it comes to your student loans. Yet like every break the party has to end sometime and reality sets back in.

Once your grace period ends you need to begin paying on your loans. While no one gets excited tp pay back a student loan you must start to plan your repayments and start budgeting. Making a solid plan to repay your student loan will set you in the right direction when your student loans grace period ends.

When your grace period ends you might have options still if your job hunt has not gone according to your hopes and expectations given the state of the economy. You can always check to see weather or not you can further postpone your future payments. Some situations allow you to have a grace period longer than the traditional six months. For example if you return to school at least half-time before your grace period ends you have reset the clock so to speak, where you will get a new 6 month grace period once your attendance drops below half time or when you have finished your new courses. Active military personal also get an extension and receive a new 6 month grace period after your active service ends. You can also request deferment or forbearance on your loans.

Of course putting off your student loans will not make them disappear. There is no avoiding student loans, not even through bankruptcy. So you might want to put your best foot forward and just start dealing with the loan now. Not to mention that putting of your loan payments might just add more debt in some cases. Setting up auto payments is often the best way to go, and it can save you 0.25%. While 0.25% does not sound like much it quickly adds up over the lifetime of your loan, to qualify for this you need to go through a federal student loan service with auto payments set up.

You can opt to consolidate your student loans in the event that you have more than one student loan or a student loan with an interest rate that is to high for your liking. The drawback is once you consolidate you cannot undo it. Consolidation takes all of your student loans and rolls it into one debt, making managing your debt easier. Sometimes you can save money in your interest but the chief reason to go a loan consolidation is to simply keep better track of your finances and having to deal with only one loan instead of multiple loans.

If you want or need to reduce your interest rates the best option to go for is to refinance your student loans. You could also pay more than the fixed payment which over time will save you in interest due to paying the loan off much faster. Of course making substantially larger payments could add a temporary squeeze on your budget and finances it will get the loan taken care of faster. If you have more than one student loan my advice is to pay off the loan with the highest balance first. if you make extra payments you need to make sure to let your lender know to apply extra payments to the principal balance and not to future payments.

Common Mistakes Borrowers Make When Searching For Personal Loans

Millions of Americans take out loans every single year, in fact loans are a fact of life for most adults. Just buying a car or a house means you will likely need to take out a loan at some point. If you ever use a credit card that is a form of a loan as well. American borrow a lot, in fact the national U.S household debt stands at around $11.7 trillion according to the Federal Reserve.

Yet despite already knowing we need loans and that loans are a fact of life, many americans every year make costly mistakes when it comes to taking out a loan. There are lots of reasons that taking out a loan ends up not working out according to plan as anyone dealing with debt collection can attest to. There are 5 big mistakes you can make and one king mistake, which is if taking out the loan will ruin your marriage or cause you to go into debt collections you shouldn’t take the loan out to begin with.

The top commonly made mistake by borrowers is not reading the fine print and loan contracts. There is always vital information you should be aware of buried within this fine print. It spells out fees, and other things that you are signing up for. Sadly most people just sign and never take the time to read and understand what exactly it is that they are getting into. Common things buried into the fine print are balloon payments at the end of the loan, or written in where they can increase your rates, sell off your loan on a 3rd party market or other things which can cause major problems. If you are applying for a loan by all means do read the contract.

Taking out a loan for someone else is a huge mistake, even worse than co-signing. At least with co-signing you have the other person on the hook credit wise right along with you should they default. Yet when you take out a loan and give the money to someone else they can simply avoid paying you back and you alone are left on the hook to face debt collections or scramble to make the payments. Simply put if someone else needs a loan do not take out the loan for them, if you must help them out then by all means co-sign for them and spread out the responsibility of the loan two ways.

friendswithmoney

The third big mistake I see borrowers do is taking out loans without looking at the long term picture. Your loan is going to be your responsibility for years to come. It is a long term responsibility and you should carefully consider your potential loans terms, rates and conditions before applying for a loan. You also need to consider how the repayment of the loan is going to effect you and your families budget since any loan will have an impact on your month to month living expenses. You want to avoid creating a new problem while trying to solve a current problem.

Paperwork errors and lack of preparation on the borrowers part is also a common mistake. Loans are not simply small forms that you just sign on the dotted line for. You are going to need things like your stay stub, you last tax return, a list of your monthly expenses like rent or mortgage payments. You should always ask the lender what they need before you make an appointment so that you can have everything you and your lender both need to go forward.

Credit Scores Over 800 Open A Wide Range Of Financial Opportunities

You might think that being in the 800 club, that is people with credit scores of 800+ is out of your league, especially since only 18% of all consumers ever reach a score that high, but it is indeed possible for anyone to reach that score range. You just need to manage your credit is all.

Credit scores can range from 300 to 850 and credit scores of 700+ are considered good by most lenders, but a credit score of 800+ tells lenders that you are a prime borrower. It tells lenders you pay your bills on time, that you do not have a lot of debt and that you take the lead in life. Credit scores of 800+ carry a lot of perks, perks that are well worth the journey it took to obtain that score. For those who say having a perfect credit score does not matter, here is the perks that open up to you with such a credit score.

Low Interest Rates:
With a credit score of 800+ you will save thousands of dollars in avoided interest charges over your lifetime. This translates to lower monthly payments on mortgages and installment loans. This also increases your buying power considerably, as you will have more money to spend due to avoiding so much interest. Good credit scores also open you up to 0% introductory rate credit card offers where you can make purchases often times up to 18 months without paying any interest. Some auto lenders even offer 0% interest financing to those with credit score ratings of 800+, which is the same as paying cash, saving you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the loan.

Obtain Your Dream Job:
Many employers today check your credit rating as part of the hiring process. In today’s modern society it is not enough to merely have a higher education and experience, employers want to know how you handle your finances, as finances speak a lot about someones trust worthiness. When you obtain a loan you make a promise to pay it back, not paying it back is akin to stealing so if your credit report is riddled with charge offs then that speaks a lot about your character. Credit checks are very common with government and financial jobs or any job where you handle company or consumer funds. A credit score over 800 can easily push you to the top of list of potential candidates for the job.


Better Credit Card Offers:

While most people can obtain a credit card of some sorts, but the best credit cards are only offered to those with perfect credit. The higher your credit score, the better the card you will be offered. Having a score of 800+ opens you up to the best credit cards on the market, ones with ultra rich rewards programs which essentially pay you for merely using the credit card. If you pay the balance off in full every month then these rewards truly come at no cost as you will be avoiding any interest payments. Other perks include concierge service, reduced priced tickets for events, travel and other high-end benefits.

Faster Loan Approvals:
With a credit score of 800+ not only will the loan process move along faster, you will also have lenders competing for your business. Just by showing your income and your credit score you can walk into any financial institution and obtain the reasonable loan that you need. People in this credit score range are a creditor’s dream borrower. Not only that but you will also enjoy nearly unheard of interest rates that only people with perfect credit can ever obtain.

Borrowers Continue To Struggle With Debts As Income Increases Don’t Keep Up

Debt! Whose Fault Is It Anyway?
So how much debt are you carrying? If you’re like the majority of Americans then you probably should have answered “too much.” When we are overwhelmed with debts, we turn toward loans more times than not, instead of addressing the issue head on and cutting our spending.

The United States has the most advanced credit “system” on the planet. Our closest rivals are Canada and the U.K.
And, our culture tells us that it’s ok to buy now and pay later. For those of us with even a decent credit history we’re able to borrow almost as much as we want with very little problem. I’d even go so far as to say that most people (especially the younger generation) have lost some perspective of money and debt.

Think about how you use money these days. Unless you’re like my parents (who still drive to the local grocery store to cash a check for their greenbacks) you probably use money in a mostly “virtual” way.

Direct deposit, credit cards, debit cards, stored value cards, gift cards, e-bill pay, auto debiting…does anyone use cash anymore? Can you even identify the new $50 bill? I saw one the other day and thought it was from a board game like Monopoly. It’s almost like we’re playing one big financial video game. I’d even be so bold and say that some of us don’t even recognize that we’re in debt.

We find a car that we like, make an offer, negotiate the price a bit, apply for a car loan and drive off the lot. Other than the time spent (and frustration dealing with the salesperson) we really didn’t spend a dime to drive away.

Sure, the coupon book shows up a few weeks later and we start writing checks every month but do we really recognize that we’ve just gone tens of thousands of dollars into debt? And if this was a home loan rather than an auto loan…hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt.

Even if we do think about it as debt I don’t believe it concerns us very much.

I believe that’s the primary reason why people fall into massive debt, because they don’t really see it as debt. They see it as a house or a car or a neat little card that lets them buy stuff, anything but debt. And as long as we can make our minimum payments on time each month then we’re in good shape.

Perhaps in as good of shape as Barbara from Roanoke, Virginia. Here’s an email that I got from her last week.
I have credit card balances totaling about $41,000.00. In October
, one of my creditors sent a bill demanding a $4,000.00 minimum payment and added a $557.00 finance charge! This was more than double what I earn each month. I sent them about $300.00, which was already more than I could afford.

Obviously it wasn’t enough because they sent the account to collections. Then their lawyer contacted me and started to pursue “binding arbitration.” All these legal looking documents with legal terms were being sent to my house.
Meanwhile, my other credit card issuers have increased their interest rates to around 31%. On one account the minimum due is $300.00 but the finance charge is about $250.00. So, I sent them a check for $300.00 but from that you can deduct the $250.00 finance charge so really only $50.00 is going towards reducing the balance. At this rate I’ll never get that credit card balance paid off. (she’s right)

This is not what I had in mind when I started using credit cards.

How can that happen? Didn’t she realize that she was getting deeper and deeper into debt while she was doing it? Was she depending on winning the lottery to pay this stuff off?

Certainly we consumers have to bear the majority of responsibility in these cases? Nobody forces us into debt. Nobody forces us to apply for credit. Do they? Can you give me an example where someone was forced to apply for credit? I can’t think of an example other than maybe when you are dividing debt in a divorce (which is almost always done improperly by the way).

Maybe it’s an addiction for some people. Sure, it feels good to drop a couple grand on new clothes but is there something that “clicks” that forces us to buy buy buy? I’m not convinced there is.
But, I do think the financial services family has to shoulder some of the blame too. How easy do they make it for us to borrow money? Do they entice us to take on more and more debt? Even more than we can handle?

A resounding “YES” please.

Go check your mailbox and I bet that (unless you’ve Opted Out) you received several credit card solicitations today. And, I bet some of them came from the same issuer that sent you an offer last month.
We’re inundated with credit offers on a daily basis. Think about your shopping trips to the malls. Do the cashiers tempt you with the “save 10% on today’s purchases by applying for a credit card” offers? If you really wanted to, you could bury yourself in crushing debt in less than 24 hours.

The fact that more people aren’t in the same dilemma as Barbara surprises me. What do you tell someone like that? Get a better job, click your heals, win the lottery, borrow money from friends, file for bankruptcy, you shouldn’t have done it in the first place…there’s no easy way to solve this debt problem.

It’s like being obese. You have to commit to a major lifestyle change for many years before you’re fit and trim…financially speaking of course. And most people simply aren’t willing or able to do it. Is there a gastric bypass equivalent that will trim off a hundred pounds of debt? It’s not as easy to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy any longer so that might not be a viable option for Barbara.

Our appetite for nice things is our problem. The easy access to the debt is their reaction to our problem.

Sometimes What Is Not Reported Is What Impacts Your Credit Most

Invisible credit records: What happens when good credit exists but is not reported to the credit bureaus?
Credit reports and credit scores can work in mysterious ways. A move that you think will help increase your credit score can actually decrease it. A janitor may have a better credit score than a billionaire. A person who thinks that they have great credit may have no credit at all. Last week, we received an email from someone with a credit mystery:

I am having a problem getting a new credit card. They say that I don’t have enough credit. I own my home and I have had my vehicle for over a year. I also have one credit card issued by my personal bank but I can’t seem to get another line of credit. Why? What can I do about this?

To solve this mystery, we first need to look for some clues. Channel Inspector Clouseau! The author reports that she owns her own home and only has one credit card from a local bank. There is a good chance that she does not currently have any loans or credit card reporting to the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Small banks often do not report credit card accounts to the credit bureaus and it sounds like there may not be active loan records either.

With no credit information being reported, a borrower is viewed as a higher risk to potential lenders. Lenders and creditors use credit records to predict how potential borrowers will act. With no records, they assume that the applicant will be a risky borrower and will therefore charge a higher rate or turn them down for new accounts. The author should check her credit reports to see if she has a “thin file” (aka: no records). If this is the case, mystery solved!

Luckily, this is an easy problem to fix. Simply opening a new credit card and using it responsible every month can help boost the borrower’s credit scores significantly. A secured credit card or a card that accepts borrowers with no credit are good choices when trouble being accepted for other accounts.

Celebrity Endorsements For Financial Companies Coming Under Fire

This is one of the most gratifying blogs I’ve ever written. I’m going to write about something that really irritates me…and should irritate you too.

Credit & Financial Experts and Credit & Financial Celebrities…what’s the difference?
That’s an easy question to answer. All you need to do is look at examples of each and what makes them unique.
Celebrities are very different. They get paid, and paid extraordinarily well, to give advice on how to save money, get out of debt or get better credit. Each of them sells products ranging from a few bucks to several hundred dollars. Books, books and more books. And, some of them have no background in the field where they are mistakenly considered experts.

It always amazes me how wealthy someone can get by repackaging and selling the same old same old.
For example, how many books have you read that tell you to invest monthly in an interest bearing account and after about 50 years of compounding at 8% you’ll be a millionaire. I think there are two dozen books written about that very simple strategy, but people keep buying them (and writing them). That’s the influence of celebrity.
To get certain of these celebrities to speak at a trade show or a corporate event you’re shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for an hour of so of their time. That’s the influence of celebrity.
I would love to get these folks in a room (disconnected from their army of copywriters and researchers) and quiz them on the really advanced strategies behind credit and finances. That, of course, would never happen. I’d have better luck getting Barry Bonds to submit to a drug test. Those are the different rules reserved for celebrities.
Should there be a line between true credit and financial experts and the so called credit and financial celebrities? And where should that line be drawn and how should it be determined?

Isn’t it fair for you, the folks who buy their stuff, to know if they really are an expert or are simply a talking head that looks good on television or a book cover? How would we know?

Well, here’s what I would consider to be an easy way to determine the pretenders from the real deal. Watch what they’ll put their name on as part of an endorsement deal. That’s the best way to separate the experts from the celebrities.

You’ll probably never see me on QVC selling stuff and you”l probably never see me with a weekly show on some cable network. But, that’s ok with me. I recognize and accept that, right now, nobody knows who the heck I am and that ain’t good for sales.

Here are what I consider to be some pretty egregious examples of celebs gone wild with dollarmania.
Some time ago one of our unnamed celebs endorsed a program with a national automaker’s finance division. The name of the program is being withheld but if you’re interested then respond to this blog and I’ll let you know who they are.

The gist of the program was to convince you that you should finance a new car with them and, in the process, guarantee yourself the same low interest rate on a second new car made by the same car maker some time down the road. Ring a bell?

The problem is that anyone who knows anything about building wealth knows that buying a new car is possibly the worst financial move you can make. I won’t even call it an investment because it isn’t.
A new car loses a significant amount of its value the minute you sign the paperwork and drive it home. You’ll never recover this loss. Consumers have come to accept this as an unfortunate byproduct of buying a new car.
Ok, so you’ve made this mistake once…now you’re being convinced that you should do it again and essentially double the damage.

That’s the difference between being an expert and a celebrity. They can be paid to give you bad advice because their motivation isn’t parallel with what’s best for you.

Here’s what an expert will tell you to do…

Never, ever buy a new car. Buy an affordable and reliable used car after it’s a couple years old. That way it has already lost the lion’s share of it’s initial value (on someone else’s watch) and it may still be under warranty. And, if it’s not under warranty then hopefully the previous owner has already corrected anything that was wrong with it when it was.

Now that you own this car, drive it until the wheels drop off. Then think about another car.
Buying a car is a necessary evil…you might as well reduce your losses as much as possible.

That’s the difference between being an expert and a celebrity. I don’t care about how cool you look in your car. I don’t care that your car has a leather interior. I just care that you can get from A to B safely and economically. And, that you sock away the savings into an IRA or a bond or something that appreciates over time.
Here’s another one that you might be familiar with…

There are some celebs that try to convince you that you should never have any credit cards. Sounds great doesn’t it? You’ll never ever be in credit card debt.

Wow, now I like that idea. Anything wrong with it?

There’s tons wrong with it.

I think that is a horrible idea. I know a fairly well known celeb personally and whenever I go on the radio with him we always argue this point. He says “no cards.” I say “yes cards, but with responsible use.”
Whenever we go to break he always says the same thing to me “John, you don’t know my audience. They do not have the self control to be able to manage a credit card wisely. I have to tell them to avoid all credit cards because they can’t control themselves.”

Wow, what a great concept. Assume all of your listeners are idiots and cannot act like a responsible adult with a
credit card.

Meanwhile the folks who are really taking your advice to heart are unable to buy stuff online, rent a car efficiently and carry around gobs of cash when they go out to dinner or holiday shopping. What a great alternative.

That’s the difference between being a celebrity and an expert. They’ll say whatever it takes to sell stuff and keep their impressive ratings. Us experts will tell it like it is…without worrying about selling our souls to the highest bidder.

Setting Goals In 2015 For Finances Will Help Alleviate Stress and Mistakes

Can you think of just one day in the last 2 weeks that you did not worry about money, think about finances, make a purchase, check your credit and bank balances or stress over retirement? If you cannot you are not alone, I too am guilty as charged. When we stress over our finances we being merely human tend to get drained over it and begin to slip on our good financial habits. These slips can range from splurging out on an expensive dinner or buying something you’ve been wanting for awhile or putting off paying that credit card bill. These “fixes” we use when stressed out over money ultimately hurt our wallets and bank accounts and make matters worse. When we are financially stressed out it is easy to make excuses to allow us to make poor choices when it comes to our finances, and simply put sometimes it does feel good, but that feeling is fleeting it only lasts a moment then we are faced with the poor choices repercussions afterwards.

Did you know that besides hurting our finances that there is now evidence that supports the theory that worrying about finances can slow down your cognitive functions? A study by American Association for the Advancement of Science’s “Science” journal points to just that. It showed that those in the study lost the equivalent of 13 IQ points and had the same exact effects of a person who had suffered from a sleepless night.

There are things you can do to ease that financial stress. You need to counter all the financial stress in your life in productive ways versus counter productive and financially destructive ways. These methods below have worked for myself and others and you too can make use of them starting today. Think of the advice below as more than simply advice but new ways of living to help you achieve financial success and freedom from stress, it’s a way of life more than a collection of simple tips.

One thing you can do starting this week is to make one day a week a no spend day. No eating out, no cup of java from the local coffee shop. While many expenses are necessary we often just spend way to much. Taking one day a week to avoid spending at all will teach us resolve and cut down on our spending. Having one day a week not having to look at your budget or bank balance is also liberating and helps us to avoid financial stress.

The second thing you can start doing right now is to start paying off your bills right away. Bills have a habit of piling up. Interest gets tacked on. Late fees if we pay late, plus the entire time more bills pile up adding to our debt and before we know it we are staring at a pile of debt. Waiting until the bills due date can also put you at risk of being late on the bill and having your credit dinged. Pay your monthly bills or set up auto pay for as many bills as you can. Budget them in so that when the bills hit they get paid the same day if at all possible.

The last thing to do is to quit looking at debt balances every day. Your debts will not go down by looking at them, instead all you are going to do is to add worry about the debt or debts. Make a plan to pay the debt down. If you can come up with a plan to make extra money to pay down those debts but do not stare at the balances you owe every day. If you have a good budget in place and work on paying down that debt it will fade away in due time.

Brought to you by DirectSignatureLoans.com a leading authority on personal loans, credit and debt related topics, helping you achieve your money goals in 2015!

Regulations For Short Term Lending Likely To Remain At The State Level

The current economic situation has caused more people in the US to seek out alternative sources of loans, and as a response to this need, several companies have begun to offer payday loans online. Cash-strapped Americans are often searching, especially during the holidays for quick easy and often no credit check required short term loans. What they quickly discover is that these loans are marketed in all 50 states, but many have different rules and requirements. A few of them may even be located outside the US. The differences in the locations of the borrowers and of the loan providers have contributed to a general confusion as to which state statutes apply. Each state has its own laws regarding online loans and loans in general, but there is no certainty as to which laws apply when borrowers and lenders are located in different areas.

Variance in State Law Limits

Each state has different laws as to the minimum and maximum term duration of an online payday loan. Texas and Kansas, for example, allow an online loan to last from a week up to a month. On the other hand, Under Ohio regulations the term of the online loan may last up to six months.

Each state may also have a different cap amount as to the size of the loan legally allowed. In Montana, a borrower may only borrow an amount ranging from $50 up to a maximum of $300. In Oregon, the cap is set at 25% of the borrower’s net monthly income. Other states such as Maine, New York, and Vermont place no limits at all as to the amount that someone in need can borrow online.

The interest rate charged on payday loans may also be regulated by state statutes. California and Arizona set the interest rate at 15% of the loan at the most. Other states such as New Mexico and Idaho sets no legal limits at all, and if the borrower agrees to pay a certain interest rate then that rate is entirely legal.

Possible Solutions

Though the confusion regarding the proper application of state statutes still exists, there are possible solutions on the horizon. Politicians from both major political parties are currently investigating the benefits of transferring the oversight of the online lending industry from the states to the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This can then minimize the confusion and create much needed clarification and consistency.
The Necessity of Improving the Legal Situation

The need for clarification in the industry has become more evident as the use of online payday laws has become more prevalent. In 2010, more than a third of the $32 billion in small loans came from online means. Experts estimate that this share will double by 2016.

In conclusion, some states may be able to enforce their regulations, especially if the borrower and the lender are located within that state’s borders. But developments in the immediate future may result in a federal oversight organization to settle and manage the online lending industry.